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Western Chorus Frog Survey

In conjunction with Blazing Star Environmental, Trent University and Environment and Climate Change Canada, volunteers with the MLA conducted a survey for Western Chorus Frogs around Mississippi Lake in 2021. Western Chorus Frogs are a threatened species in Canada and the MLA had no data regarding the frog and its presence on our lake.

The Western Chorus Frog is a small tree frog reaching 2.5 cm in length and can be identified by 3 broken dark vertical stripes down its back and a distinctive white stripe on its upper lip. It is usually heard more often than seen, with a loud breeding call that sounds like a finger running through the teeth of a metal comb. It is one of the first species to begin calling each year in the spring, preferring to breed in temporary wetlands that lack fish predators and dry up in the summer. The species ranges across southern Ontario, north to Huntsville, and east to Quebec.

Unfortunately, the Western Chorus Frog (Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Population) is listed as a threatened species in Canada. It is experiencing ongoing population declines throughout its range due to several factors, including habitat loss and fragmentation, water pollution, and invasive species. An important step to the continued persistence and recovery of the Western Chorus Frog in Canada is to collect more detailed information about their abundance and distribution across their range. The data will fill in important knowledge gaps about their habitat and distribution, help inform recovery efforts, and allow the conservation community to quickly detect and respond to population declines over time!

Six volunteers with the MLA conducted 3 short daytime surveys in specific areas (temporary wetlands or shallow points of permanent wetlands – flooded fields, swamps, ponds, drainage ditches or marshes) around the lake as part of a larger project involving 241 locations around Ontario. Only one volunteer was able to detect Western Chorus Frogs near the lake.

Western Chorus Frog Calling - Bing video

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